Turkey launches fresh air strikes against Kurdish militants

Turkey launches fresh air strikes against Kurdish militants

ISTANBUL • The Turkish armed forces have carried out their first air strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq since last week's coup attempt, killing 20 fighters, the state media reported yesterday.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets hit targets of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq on Tuesday, said Anadolu news agency, quoting security sources.

Former Turkish air force chief General Akin Ozturk, 25 other former generals and many soldiers have been arrested, suspected of planning last Friday's attempted coup, in which rebel troops used jets and tanks to try to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the resumption of fighting between Turkish security forces and the PKK after a largely successful 21/2-year truce.

The ceasefire had sparked hopes of a final peace deal to end Turkey's three-decade conflict with the PKK.

Instead, the PKK has returned to routine attacks on security forces, who have hit back with relentless operations in Turkish urban centres and air raids in the mountains of south-east Turkey and PKK bases in northern Iraq.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2016, with the headline 'Turkey launches fresh air strikes against Kurdish militants'. Print Edition | Subscribe